UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Online English Course for International University Students

Develop your academic English language and academic skills while exploring UK culture and society in this online course.

Summer English Course for International University Students

In August 2023 we will be offering a 3-week Summer English Course for International University Students, at UCL.

Course dates

  • Online IT induction and introduction to the course: 24 February 2023. This will be a three-hour induction and we will contact you to confirm the time.
  • Classes: 27 February - 10 March 2023

Course overview

If you're a non-native English speaker, currently studying for an undergraduate degree in a language other than English, this course is for you.

You will be taught by UCL tutors over two-weeks.


The course aims to improve your English speaking, writing, listening and reading.

You will also have opportunities to explore:

  • UCL and academic culture
  • different aspects of university life in London by talking to UCL students
  • UK culture and society through virtual visits to places of social and historical interest

Tutors will introduce you to the language and skills required for all aspects of the course and provide you with tasks to guide and support you in self-study.


As part of the course, you will have access to and participate in:

  • live online classes with UCL tutors
  • live online one-to-one or small group tutorials
  • recorded academic lectures delivered by UCL staff
  • training in producing a written academic research report
  • training in producing an academic presentation
  • live online interaction with UCL students
  • guided virtual visits to places of cultural interest in London

Course completion

At the end of the course, you will receive:

  • assessment of your written work and presentation skills
  • a UCL certificate and full individual developmental report

Entry requirements

Students on the course normally have levels of English in the ranges shown below.

If you do not have a formal English language qualification, we encourage you to apply and may ask you to complete a short test and/or attend a virtual interview.

IELTS5.0 to 7.5
TOEFL IBT45 to 109
TOEIC600 to 800
CambridgePET to CAE
The College English Test (CET)CET4: 425 to 670 
CET6: 400 to 650

This course is not suitable for beginners/elementary (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) A1/A2) students.

You will probably have studied English for several years at school and may be studying English as part of your university degree.


You will be:

  • studying for an undergraduate degree
  • aged 17 years or above
  • a non-native English speaker

Course content

You will be taught Monday to Friday in English for Academic Purposes classes and tutorials, covering:

  • Language and skills needed to study at a UK university
  • Designing and conducting a questionnaire
  • Analysing the results of a questionnaire
  • Writing an academic research report
  • Delivering an academic presentation
  • Introduction to cultural visits including language preparation.
  • Skills needed to research UK culture and English language.

You will also complete independent study activities every day, at a time convenient for you, exploring the following areas.

1. Academic lectures

You will have access to recorded lectures delivered by UCL lecturers and receive:

  • Training in the listening skills needed to process lectures
  • Discussion forums on lecture content.

2. UCL and Academic Culture

You will be introduced to UK/UCL academic culture and norms. You will be given a guide to UCL.

3. Language and culture

You’ll receive an introduction to life and culture in the UK through virtual tours and online resources.

Through these activities, you will develop the skills required for independent research into UK life, culture, and English language.

Furthermore, you will be introduced to the language used in different areas of life and culture.

4. Exploration of London/UK culture

You can join guided visits of places of social and cultural significance in London and the UK.

5. Social events with UCL students

You can meet and talk with UCL students online.

Sample timetable

Teaching takes place Monday to Friday through a combination of scheduled lessons and self-study activities.

You can complete your self-study at a time that suits you, provided it is before your next scheduled class.

Time (UK time)MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
09:00-11:00Live seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshops
11:00-12:00Tutorials or guided studyTutorials or guided studyTutorials or guided studyTutorials or guided studySocial event with UCL students
Self-study and virtual tours, 2-3 hours a day at a time of your choiceAcademic lecture (1 hour)
Guided study on academic lecture (1 hour)
Visit to places of socio-cultural interest (1+ hours)

Guided study on cultural visit (1 hour)
Visit to places of socio-cultural interest (1+ hours)

Guided study on cultural visit (1 hour)
Visit to places of socio-cultural interest (1+ hours)

Guided study on cultural visit (1 hour)
Academic lecture (1 hour)

Guided study on academic lecture (1 hour)

Your learning

You will be taught in the following ways:

1. Live seminars and workshops

Live seminars and workshops will run for 2 hours each weekday (Monday – Friday) of the course.

These classes will combine:

  • tutor-led input and workshops
  • recorded listening and video material, and reading texts, along with a wide variety of the online resources available to UCL students.

Tasks and activities will be designed to allow you to process the material before, during and after the input sessions to enhance contact with your tutor.

You will be encouraged to work on tasks with other students in small groups, as well as with your tutor.

Classes are taught in small groups with a maximum of 12 students per class.

2. Guided study

In addition to seminars and workshops, you will be required to work on self-study tasks with the guidance of your tutor, who will monitor your work and provide structured feedback.

You will receive at least one hour a day of self-study with your tutor's guidance, in addition to live classes.

3. Personal tutorials

You will have a minimum of two personal tutorials during the course. These will be conducted on a one-to-one or on a small group basis with your tutor and will focus on aspects of academic language and skills introduced through the guided self-study tasks.

4. Academic lectures

You will watch pre-recorded academic lectures, and complete tasks and activities to guide you through the academic content and the language used in the delivery of the lecture.

5. Visits to places of socio-cultural interest

Virtual visits to places of interest will take place for up to two hours on three days during each week of the course.

Tasks and activities will be provided to guide you through different sites in London and the UK. Your tutor will provide further guidance during live seminars and workshops, as well as provide an opportunity to reflect on the different experiences you have.


You will be assessed on your language proficiency at the end of the course. This assessment is made up of:

  • a short academic research report
  • a short end-of-course presentation (recorded in your own time)

Both pieces of work will be assessed by the tutor after the course has finished.

After the course, you will receive:

  • a full report on your achievements in the assessments and during the course more generally, along with guidance on areas that you might focus on to improve your performance.
  • a course certificate*

* minimum 80% course attendance required


The cost of the course is £850.

The course fee includes the costs of all course tuition, including course materials and materials for the virtual trips which are part of the course.

How to apply

Applications for the UCL Online English Courses are made directly to the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education via the application form.

  • The application form asks for details about your study of English and current university course. You will also be asked to explain in at least 250 words, why you have applied for this course and what you hope to achieve from your time on the course. This short writing exercise helps us assess your level of English and ensures you are placed in a class at the appropriate level.
  • If you already have an IELTS, TOEFL or other English language qualification, please indicate this in your application.
  • Once your application has been considered, we will let you (and your university, if necessary) know about your offer of a place on the course.
  • If your application is successful, we will email you an offer of a place on the course, providing information about how to pay the course fee.


Requests for refunds will be considered if a replacement can be found to take your place on the course and provided the request is received before the relevant course application deadline (above).

All refunds will be subject to a £200 administration charge.

Requests for full or pro-rata refunds if you withdraw from the course after its commencement will not be considered.


University staff wishing to place groups of students on to one of these courses are welcome to contact the Course Administrator.

Technical requirements

Please note the following technical requirements for the course:

  • access to a laptop or PC with an internet connection;
  • a headset (recommended) or speakers and a microphone;
  • a webcam;
  • a modern browser, upgraded to the latest version (Chrome recommended);
  • a fast internet connection. As with all online platforms, the higher the bandwidth of your internet connection, the smoother your experience of our platforms will be. We would recommend speeds in excess of 1 Mbps.

Training will be provided in the use of UCL online platforms during the first day and ongoing technical support will be available during UK office hours.